THE DVD SHELF: Blu-rays of Oscar Winners "Grand Hotel," "Mrs. Miniver," "Driving Miss Daisy," "On the Waterfront"

By Steven Suskin
10 Feb 2013

Cover art
Our third film — fourth, chronologically, but the third brought to us on Blu-ray by Warner — is the 1989 winner Driving Miss Daisy. The film version is, understandably, quite different from Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play; to begin with, the cast of characters is expanded from three to many (which made room for the post-Anything Goes Patti LuPone, as Daisy's annoying daughter-in-law Florine). The theatricality of the original is sacrificed, yes, but Uhry's film adaptation turns the piece into something equally compelling.

Daisy is played by the 80-year-old Jessica Tandy. who had 40-odd years earlier created the role of Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire. Tandy gives a luminous performance, which was rewarded with her only Oscar (to go along with three Tonys and an Emmy). Top-billed over Ms. Tandy is Morgan Freeman; he had originated the role of Hoke on stage, and his film performance made him a full-fledged movie star. He is, needless to say, wonderful. Dan Aykroyd is surprisingly strong as Daisy's long-suffering son, Boolie. Australian Bruce Beresford ("Tender Mercies") directs, and well, too. Oddly enough, "Driving Miss Daisy" was a rare Best Film winner for which the director was not even nominated. The first since "Grand Hotel," as it happens. And who knows? It could happen again soon. Very soon.

Visit PlaybillStore.com to check out theatre-related DVDs for sale. 

 Continued...